Two Year Old Girl Field Strips AR-15

Not yet having become a parent I am frequently amused by how competitive parents can be. If you put a few parents of toddlers in a room together the conversation inevitably turns to a discussion about which of the genius offspring walked first, talked first, ate carrots first, composed poetry first and so on.

Gun nuts are no exception. Instead of training their child with Baby Einstein DVDs and Sesame Street they are exposing them to the sagely advice of Chris Costa and Travis Haley and competing to see who is the youngest prodigy to learn to field strip an AR-15.

I can’t even be sure if I had seen a gun by the time I turned two, let alone learnt how to maintain one.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lance

    Its good to teach a kid how a gun works and what they can do and also not to play with them doing so make it easier for them to know what to do and what NOT to do.

    • greyghost

      I think the child is learning alot more than just rifles in this case. This ‘game’ they are playing is teaching her new vocabulary and teaching her to distinguish between items that have similair names.

      Basically this can be done with any item or toy, and it is. Most people have there toddler learning which Animal makes which sound, this is the same principal in learning, repetition. Just on a different application.

      I can see the parents are in what it looks to be the lobby of a Gun-Store. Maybe they are in the FFL/gear business and they decided a family that plays together stays together.

      I myself taught my Nephew (S.P.O.R.T.S) on M4 style airsoft guns when he was 8. He had it down pretty good after one day of practice but I doubt he remembers it now, but it was good for his brain I dont doubt.

      • JamesD

        I think the 2nd video can probably be attributed to daddy cleaning his rifle, and his daughter asking “what’s that” repeatedly. So daddy taught her, mommy thought it was funny and recorded it.

  • Benjamin

    Geez, when I was in the cadet corp at 13 I was struggling over all the pins in the M16…

  • West

    Smart kid but im not sure its such a great idea to teach a two year old how to operate a rifle. Im sure they keep it locked up but still it makes me nervous to think about a kid who has the manual dexterity to assemble a weapon but not the age and experience to know the full danger.
    Maybe an erector set would be a better choice.
    (Dont pile on me, I got my first rifle when I was 10)

  • Andrew (European Correspondent)

    I guess I am not really impressed. The mom basically does everything for the little girl, who just says “Yeah!” and puts her hand on whatever happens to need removing at that particular time.

    • Counsel


    • Chris

      thats how kids learn

  • Justin Grigg

    I’m like way faster than her.

  • Andy

    Snooze. Story should be titled “2 year old girl takes an interest in her mother PARTIALLY field stripping an AR-15”.

  • John

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool gun enthusiast…

    but I just don’t get it.

    Why expose a toddler who has no concept of the destructive power of firearms at such a tender age. To a 2-year-old, everything is a toy.

    Now, if they’re preparing them for the upcoming rapture, that’s another thing altogether.

  • alex

    meh, kids….dont understand the big deal

  • anton

    Kids like that grow up to be huge wise-asses. I know a guy who was a child prodigy and he is a huge pain-in-the-ass.

  • abprosper

    Two is more than a bit young. Its hard enough to keep them from eating the ammo at that age,much less teaching them to maintain an AR.

  • Nater

    Sorry, but a two year old doesn’t have the manual dexterity to do that, as the video obviously shows. She then goes straight for the buffer/spring assembly, because things like that are interesting to a two year old.

  • Martin

    I think they should teach her how to drive a car. Today.

  • Justin

    I don’t see what the big problem everybody has with this. For a young child if you treat guns like they are untouchable then you create this mystery. How many times have you told a kid not to touch whatever..or not to open whatever..and they were NOT curious? My dad started me out at a very young age like these little kids. He kept everything locked up, but anytime I wanted to look at something, whether it was my little 22 rifle, or one of his guns, he would sit down with me, walk me through checking to make sure it was clear and let me roll with it. When I was done, it got put back up. That’s not to mention taking me shooting at a young age. It took the mystery away from firearms, while at the same time educating me about how to handle them at a young age. If you eliminate the mystery surrounding them while educating about them at the same time, then you more than likely eliminate these instances where kids got into something they weren’t supposed to and AD a round into themselves or somebody else.

  • Martin

    When a person tries to teach a toddler how to use a firearm, it stops being a game – or an attempt to teach the child anything, but it becomes a signal to others. They want to state something.

  • SpudGun

    The first video appears to have been shot inside a gun store, so I’m going to conclude that Mommy and / or Daddy probably owns or runs the business. In which case it comes as no surprise that their daughter is interested in what her parents are doing.

    But just to be sure, they should make their daughter take the ‘Shogun Assassin’ test. Put an AR-15 in one corner and some Disney Princess stuff in another. If she goes for the rifle, then they must train her to become the ultimate assassin – it’s only logical.

    • Burst

      In hindsight, I wish I had gone for the rifle, not the princesses.

  • I don’t think a 2 year-old child even HAS a concept of death or dismemberment. It’s not really a safety lesson if they don’t know what they’re being safe from.

  • John Doe

    I’m all for kids being educated with guns at an early age, but 2 seems a bit early. I’m no child expert, but wouldn’t exposing them this early have them disregard and not respect the power of a gun? I started at 7, when I could see first hand that a gun, even a little .22 could cause quite a bit of damage.

    Maybe in 5 years, when she can pick up a 22/45.

    • JamesD

      I was firing .22s on a regular basis when I was five years old. That’s also the age when my dad let me fire a .243 and a 410 shotgun for the first time.

      I see nothing wrong with starting a child young. But I don’t see the point in teaching a child how to disassemble and maintain a rifle they can’t even lift yet.

  • jdun1911

    I taught a lot of children how to shoot guns at a very young age. I see nothing wrong with the video.

    When I was a kid we blew up stuffs. Kids my age back than make bombs and blew them up in ditch for fun. Real bombs.

    When I fell of my bike. I didn’t get “Poor dear, let me put bandage on that boo bo”. What I got was “Get up boy and do it until you get it right”. That was what I expected of me.

    When I was a kid I was allow to take risks. Kids of my age back than takes large amount risk to their health. They were allow too. Sure we got bang up pretty bad but we learn from our mistakes and understand risk management at a young age. Pain is a good teacher.

    Today society is pathetic. With that said it is good to know that some parents still allow kids to be kids. Allow them to take risks.

  • gunner

    i sometimes wonder how many poential boyfriends my daughter scared off as a teenager when she showed off knowing how to field strip her 9mm govt. model colt and ar-15. she was also into motorcycles, riding her own honda cb550 as her school’s only “outlaw biker”, that’s a lot for a teenage boy to handle in a girl when his parents won’t let him near those “dangerous things”.

    • John

      Hot <3 (19 here) ^_-

    • JamesD

      If your daughter was cute, then all that made her hot.
      If she’s not… it made here creepy.
      Such is the mentality of a teenage boy.

  • testsetwetetet

  • Charlie

    The girl in the top video stripping an AR with mom’s help seemed to be the biggest 2 year old I’d ever seen but I was truly impressed by the lower video with the same girl at a much younger age.
    Maybe she will grow up to be like the Reba Mcentire’s character in the movie Tremors (which I consider a good thing in case some of you were wondering).

    • chaz

      they are not the same girl, the lower video is my cousin. In my honest opinion i think she is way better off than the other. 🙂

  • Netforce

    The parents better make sure all the small components aren’t missing.

  • Tebow’d

    This was at a gunstore in Tucson, AZ. I just happened to be checking out some rifles in there (they have some really cool NFA stuff at this store) and noticed the little girl with the AR (and her mom) sitting on the floor. I didn’t realize they were filming. The parents have a deep knowledge of ARs and firearms in general and I think this little girl will be just fine.

  • Rusty RAy

    Only comment that I will make is that if you are going to teach safety, do it right. As far as I am concerned, the safety is checked for position and the magazine comes off/out before the chamber is inspected. If the nipper can’t handle that as a start, then that tells you that she is not ready for the rest of lesson. I agree with teaching kids about firearms, but only if they can handle the full aspects of firearms safety. But that’s just me.

    Other than that, I am a little jealous of the kid. I had to wait until I was 13 to shoot my first rifle.

    Cheers- Rusty

  • JamesD

    While I commend the little girl on her burgeoning knowledge of AR maintenance, I think her parents should spend a little more time giving their daughter a head start on things like reading, writing, math, science…

    • Steve

      Buddy, these videos are roughly 3.5 minutes long put together. How can you make a comment like that, not knowing what goes on in the other 1436.5 minutes of the day at that household? I don’t think spending a fraction of a day breaking down a rifle is going to hinder a child’s development.

      • Chris

        why should i worry? i don’t care what anyone else does, i don’t take my moral and ethical beliefs from other people, because for the most part, people are idiots, and not for nothing, i’d probably trust that child with a weapon over you, guaranteed that child will soon understand better then you what that weapon can do, and will be responsible about it. we need to teach responsible weapons use, not try to keep our kids from it, because there is nothing anyone can do to keep them from guns. if they know nothing about guns, what is that kid gonna do when they break into their fathers gun locker at age 12? if she was taught properly, will most likely shoot someone breaking into the house, not herself.

    • Chris

      how about you don’t worry about what other people teach their children?

      • JamesD

        Your damn right I’m worried about what people are teaching their kids! Why shouldn’t I worry? What do you think the parents of the occupy protesters were teaching their kids? How to be good little activists? You should be worried too.

      • JamesD

        And clearly, your opinion is right and any opinion different than yours is wrong or you wouldn’t be implying I’m an idiot, which clearly disproves your statement about not caring what anyone else does. BTW genius, you replied to someone else’s post.

        Do you know what a strawman argument argument is?
        If you look at my other replies in the thread you’ll find that I was shooting at age 5. I have nothing against teaching a child about gun safety or how to use one at a young age. I just figured teaching a child how to break down a weapon could wait until they were strong enough and had enough manual dexterity to actually do it. Children under age 3 don’t even have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth. Look it up.

    • evilskinnybroad

      As a female chemist/mathgod I’m all for teaching kids particle physics and hyperbolic spaces, but flashcards with gravity=9.8 m/s^2 just makes boring videos 😀

  • Charlie

    I agree with Steve. These videos are just a minute fraction of the child’s life. The parents are in the gun business; it is only natural that part of her education would include guns. I was impressed that she could name all the parts of the AR laid out before her. They may use multiple flash cards in teaching the animals or the colors, but as far as I know, they don’t make flash cards for guns. Public education in the US is not nearly as good as it could be, but various studies show that the parents involvement with their children’s education is the most critical factor of all. I’d say this little girl is off to a good start.

  • bwamelissa

    I’m the woman you see in the video. Just wanted to pop my head in and offer a little background.

    My family owns the gunshop the video was taken in. The girl you see will be 3 in February. Because my husband and I oppose using daycare to raise the little one, she is enrolled in an educational preschool 3 days a week. The other 2-3 days, she comes to the shop with us. She is also enrolled in dance and music, and raises a flock of chickens 🙂

    While she is at work with us, her day is spent with a variation of using her computer spelling program, coloring, socializing, using her legos, sitting next to our gunsmith (‘helping’ by holding things, handing him tools) or otherwise ‘observing’ in general. When it’s slow I sometimes sit with her and do what you see in the video. Obviously she would not have interest in what you see if she wasn’t emulating the adults she looks up to.

    So, because of the nature of our lifestyle, with firearms and training literally our bread and butter, we feel its important to teach her little by little as soon as possible. We don’t try to convince ourselves that she understands the responsibility of firearms, but it’s not something we want to wait to lay on her when she is at some arbitrary age of comprehension.
    If we were mechanics, I’d be sitting with her sometimes doing the same thing with a carburetor, but obviously not expecting her know how to drive, nor the consequences of irresponsible driving. But it would be a foundation to becoming much more knowledgeable, comprehensive driver than her peers when the time comes.

    Of course, I’m proud of her, and showing off a little by posting the video, but I don’t present that her as having an extraordinary skill set, just a less common experience than most girls her age. The exercise you see is intended to build the skill set, eliminate any ‘forbidden fruit’ behavior & de-mystifying the firearm while laying the foundation for safety and responsibility. The quality and bonding time is a great perk, too.

    I don’t expect that everyone (even in the gun community) would advocate what you see, but we’ve put a great bit of consideration for safety, expectations, milestones and responsibility given our lifestyle. I do, however hope that most found it at least endearing 😉

  • Rick

    My 2 year old is an absolute genius (for a 2 yo) and I can’t wait to teach her about shooting and self defense…. But dang, I’m wouldn’t have thought she could even hold a bolt carrier let alone remove one from an upper receiver. But now I’m inspired, at the next opportunity, she will ‘help’ me strip and clean my rifles.